Monday, June 08, 2009

How is the birth of Shimshon connected to parshat Naso?

Every haftarah is connected in some way to its parsha. What is the connection between parshas Nasi and the malach telling Manoach and his wife about the upcoming birth of Shimshon?

The obvious connection is that Naso speaks of laws of a Nazir, and Shimshon is to be a nazir. But over Shabbos, I heard a beautiful alternative explanation. And of course, there could be multiple connections between the parsha and its haftarah. The suggestion is that the connection is rather to the laws of Sotah.

The story in the haftorah is basically one in which a woman has trouble conceiving with her husband (Shoftim 13:2), and suddenly a strange man appears to her whom neither she nor her husband knows (13:17), and now she will become pregnant. A jealous husband might react by being mekaneh his wife and suspecting her of cheating on him, and tell her not to see this man again. But Manoach prays to meet this man again (13:8), and speaks with him (13:11). And instead of being declared a mamzer, ch"v, Shimshon becomes a nazir and a shofet of Israel.


Yosef Greenberg said...

Isn't it a parsha too late?

joshwaxman said...


technically, yes, but i often post runover from one parsha to the next. especially in this case, where i only heard it on shabbos, and where i would forget by next year...


shlomo said...

Is it really reasonable to suspect adultery, when the man and woman met in a public place, and the woman immediately told her husband about the meeting rather than covering it up?

joshwaxman said...

obviously not on the peshat level, i would think. but how do you know it was a public place? the second time (pasuk 9) was when she sat in a field. and telling her husband about the meeting and the pregnancy might be a good way of covering up an indiscretion...



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